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Now offering "ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ" Vinyl Decals. Measures 7.4"h x 8"w. Suitable to go on just about any smooth surface indoors or out. They are computer cut and made from high quality vinyl that lasts.

It means "Come and take them". A lot of us know that. But not as many of us know where it comes from.

Persia had tried to invade Greece in 490 BC, but at the battle of Marathon, Athens had thrown them back into the sea. With their tails tucked, they went back to the desert...But not for good.

A new king of Perisa named Xerxes had taken over for his father, and he was working hard on finishing the task his dad had began. For four years he rounded up nations and soldiers, build bridges out of ships, and finally, in 480 BC had his army poised to crush Greece.

The historian Herodotus said the army was made up of 5 million men, while the poet Simonides figured 3 million. He also said that when they rested, they drank up rivers, and ate the entire food content of cities they passed through. He also said that when they marched, the earth would shake. Now, we know these are exaggerations, but the Greeks were certainly outnumbered. Modern history pegs the army of King Xerxes of Persia at between 200,000 and 300,000, plus animals and etc.

The Greeks quickly threw together the best alliance they could, and the city states began to prepare for war. Some simply gave up, and promised to kowtow to the Asian army if they were spared. Natually, the alliance was headed by Sparta. In laymans terms, the Spartans were the baddest mofos who ever trod our planet. From birth, they were engineered to be the best fighting men in the world. In fact, there was only one profession in all of Sparta. Soldier.

At birth, any sickly or deformed baby was left in the woods to die, or depending on the illness, if it survived 24 hours in the forest, could be brought home to have another chance. At 7 years of age, male children were sent to military academy, which lasted 14 years. Among the subjects they learned, naturally focusing on military skills, was the tolerance of pain. Tolerance to the point that whipping contests were held to see who could take the most lashing before making a single sound.

At approximately 10, they were sent into forest for a week, empty handed, and told to return alive if they were truly a Spartan, and to please die if they were not.

Anyway, the point is, when these guys got out of military school at 21 they were pretty friggin' tough. There's more important things going on. The world's first democracy is about to be snuffed out by Persia!

So Sparta took charge of the handful of Greeks who were willing to fight. The problem was that Sparta was also forbidden from going to war! The religious festival of Carnea was in full swing, the religious rulers decreed it a sin to march to war until the conclusion of the games. An Oracle said that while Sparta could not go to war, they could still save themselves. All it would take was the sacrifice of a king.

That king was named Leonidas, and he was a pretty bright guy. He decided to take a walk. Naturally,when a king just took a stroll, be brought bodyguards with him. So he picked 300 of his finest soldiers (who had sons) and took a stroll. Straight at the Persian army. With them came about 6,000 other Greeks of varius states.

Legend has it that when Leonidas went through his wilderness trial, he was attacked by a wolf. He wegded himself into a tight tunnel of rock, and when the wolf sprung, it became stuck, and he killed it. What better way to kill the Persians? The location was Thermopylae...The Hot Gates. Where the enemy would have to funnel into battle and their numbers would be meaningless.

Xerxes got reports from his scouts that Spartan soldiers were in his path, performing naked calisthenics and grooming themselves. He laughed. What the hell were these homos thinking they were going to do, prancing around in the buff? What he should have known is that the Spartans were performing the rituals of those who meant to die.

For four days, they stared each other down. The "God-King" Xerxes becoming more and more frustrated. Finally he demanded of Leonidas, throw down your weapons and you will be allowed to live. Leonidas laughed in his face and said "MOLON LABE!"...."COME AND GET THEM!". It was on.

The Greeks formed their Phalanx...A wall of men and sheilds across the whole pass. The Persians confidently strode forward to sweep these arrogant bastards out of their way. They were slaughered by the hundreds, no match for the Greek soldiers they faced. They were also slaves, and so they were herded again and again into the pass to emerge as hamburger. Many times they had men actually whipping them forward. The breaking point came when king Xerxes sent forth the Immortals, the best soldiers of all of Persia, and they were massacred in full view of the Persian camp. They were starting to fear the Greeks a lot more than they feared the whips that stung thier backs.

At that last minute, when the Persian army was beginning to revolt, A Greek named Ephialtes turned traitor and revealed to the Persians a goat path that would allow him to flank and slaughter the force of Leonidas. The 1000 Phocians guarding the pass quickly fled with only token resistance.

It was clear now their amazing victory was over. Leonidas released all of his non-Spartan soldiers to go home. 600 Thespians decided to stay and fight with the Spartans until the end.

They fought until their swords were broken, and then the fought with their bare hands and their teeth. And believe it or not, even unarmed and surrounded, outbumbered 1000 to one, the Persians were still too chickenshit to face them! They killed the remaining Greeks with flights of arrows.

There is a poem engraved in the rocks of Thermopylae which to this day still reads:

Go tell the Spartans, passerby,
That here, by Spartan law, we lie


Go tell the Spartans, you who have read;
That we have followed their orders, and now are dead

In the end, all 300 Spartans were killed, along with 3,700 other Greeks. The Persians lost 40,000 or more. And it bought time for a newly inspired Greece to assemble and fight off the Persian army on another day.

This battle is still taught to aspiring officers in academies such as West Point all around the world, and it still means something to us too.

If they want our guns, they can come and get them. And although it might mean the end of us, it just might serve as inspiration to all those who cower and let them be taken, to stand up and be heard.'